Ballot Initiative Law and Legal Definition

Ballot Initiative is a proposed piece of legislation that people can vote on. The process generally act as fourth branch of government. It serves as a major generator of state laws and is a way to make policy when the elected state legislature and governor fail to act in a manner that satisfies all interested parties. Initiatives have addressed policy areas ranging from the political process, business regulations and taxes to insurance, education and criminal justice. Because the initiative process is sometimes a critical part of government, it is important that it functions in a way that it produces well written and thoroughly considered laws, and that it fortifies, rather than undermines, the state's policymaking process. It is also called a ballot measure, referendum or proposition.